What defines race in America? The answer is not always black and white. Biracial makeups and varied ethnicities complication delineations of race in American culture. Soledad O’Brien’s “Black In America” series attempts to address the weighted issue in its fifth installment, which airs this Sunday on CNN at 8 PM EST.

The documentary follows the story of two women with differing views on racial identity. A biracial woman (black mother, white father) doesn’t identify as black. A brown-skinned women whose parents were born in Africa considers herself black. Some don’t agree with her identification because her family hails from Egypt.

Soledad O’Brien is multiracial and identifies as black. She remembers taking “great offense” when people question her ethnicity, but has since moved past it: “I think I was part of “Black in America” even in the context of who is the filter of the story and so it became relevant, so I really stopped hating answering that question because I felt like my job is to elaborate and explain for people who I am.”

Black in America Five will also explore colorism to determine why people are discriminated against because of their skin color.

Watch a clip below featuring Soledad O’Brien and Michaela Angela Davis:

What do you think of the “Black in America” series? Will you watch the fifth installment? How do you define “blackness”?

  • K. Moore

    I will be watching as I always do,but I would rather for Don Lemon to start doing “Black In America” then Soledad O’Brien. I would rather Soledad O’Brien start doing documentaries on living in inner cities though.

  • rando


  • Susana

    Not sure why the woman whose family that hails from Egypt are not considered black. There are Egyptians are partly nubian and do consider themselves to be black. I’ve seen Egyptians with dark skin and tight/kinky curls, not everyone in Egypt looks or defines themselves as Arabs.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)


    I try to appreciate Soledad O’brien because I’m an ethnically mixed, Creole Black woman — I don’t think people like she or I should be marginalized.

    What I have a serious problem with is that this show is surely being marketed to a White audience, and I’d bet money that the producers and directors of this show are White. As a result, these shows are slanted and biased to present “relevant” issues surrounding Blackness as they would be defined by White people!

    There’s an additional issue which O’brien would hate: she is not ethnically Black American, and neither am I.

    There is a problem in America with Whites AND Black perceiving Black people as a monolith, when there are many, many Black communities, not just one. Just as I do NOT appreciate Black and White Americans speaking for Creole/Haitian people (as though doing relief work or visiting Haiti once qualified them!), it’s not appropriate for O’brien to speak as though she’s within the American Black community. When one considers that she’s not within the inner city communities that she reports on, the problem becomes even worse: she’s actually robbing people of a voice and hijacking their story.

    If she really wanted to be honest, she’d have to qualify her own ethnic origins. Yes, we share a Black racial identity in America — although our classification would actually change in the Caribbean and Latin America, which is in an of itself is not an option for American Blacks — but she and I are NOT in the American Black ethnic community. Yes, we experience racial discrimination as Black people, but there are dimensions of it and its history that we ARE NOT subject to.

    It really is not the same thing.

  • Nathaniel Brunson Jr

    Hi Audience,
    I hope your day is great! Hopefully this blog with my signature raises dignity and influence here and around the world. In the beginning, there were two people carrying DNA transferring to everyone today. Two people had the choice to engage in a perfect life, free of problems. However, sin permeates the world: life, thoughts, and actions. Humans will always divide, even if all ethnicities were similar. Example, there is China, Japan, and Russia sharing one body. However, there is devision in status and gender. Folks, division is a tool using by the Enemy to destroy! Humans are physical beings, but grossly neglect their nurturing spiritual being. The wind is a force: nurtures or destroys. Air is something individuals can not visually notice. Moreover, the force of air transfers into wind, swaying noticeable objects, such as trees and leaves. The spirit of the world and air determines the minds and actions of humans. Negativity, pain, and injustice travels through the air. Therefore, this spirit travels from person-to-person and group-to-group. With this being said, folks adopt what is common or popular. Not changing the subject, but there exists families with similar physical attributes and the spirit-of-the air conquers and divides. Racism, stereotyping, and discrimination is a virus traveler in the air. We should not target individuals, but the spirit-of-the-air. Positivity, optimism, and transcending above past ideologies forecasts change. Lastly, closing our eyes and living with sound and valid instincts will mold real neighbors. These people would never be close, if eyes were open!

    Nathaniel Brunson Jr.

  • rosie

    I had plans to tune in, but I just remembered I have to organize my sock drawer that night. It’s a shame that I’ll be too busy to check out this compelling discussion.

  • http://www.straightnochase.com jo

    Well, I, for one look forward to it!

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gina

    I’ll be watching it. You have no idea what its like being asked the question “what are you” and having a judgmental eye look upon you ask you try to explain.

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gina


  • simplyme

    Like most things, I think the people who personally have to deal with this issue think its a lot more fascinating than it really is. Who is Black in America? Whoever chooses to self identify as such. I don’t see how this conversation benefits anyone in 2012.

  • Nila

    Is Soledad serious? I bet you anything that people that look like her and Michaela Angela Davis LOVE the fact that they don’t look typically black. If both of them are given a chance to switch looks with Alek Wek – you think they would be down? These conversations are so played out and exhausting to hear. Who cares??? Soledad is mixed so she is essentially not black and that hasn’t hindered her in anyway. I would even say that her ambiguous look has helped her lots. Especially in the world of media. So I am not interested in her latest project because its really not helpful to the cause nor is it shedding light on anything new. Next!

  • http://theaaridan.tumblr.com TheMuseintheMirror

    I am definitely looking towards watching Black in America! As a black student journalist, I look up to Mrs. Soledad O’Brien.

    My fellow sisters, it hurts me when I see you post harmful comments about whose not whole black because their not dark enough or whose not whatever…because they don’t go through the same struggles as I do.

    NO. It’s not about that. I am a dark skinned woman and while I’ve been through my own trials and tribulations with my dark chocolate skin tone, I see that other women of other shades have their struggles too.

    Think about. What if people black and white came up to you asking, “Well, what ARE you?” like you’re some kind of alien! The thing is, we are all brothers and sisters, and even though we have fought different battles ensued on us by institutionalized racism and racist ideologies, we are all still a family of hues.

    Case in point: My father’s mother (my beloved late grandmother) was a Creole. She was her mother was Native American and Black and her father was a French man. There were countless of times people told her that she was white and that her children were someone else’s because they were dark. As a matter of fact, my uncle is the only one in the family that has my grandmother’s light complexion and light eyes and he was teased for being white as well.

    You see what I mean, family?

  • http://theaaridan.tumblr.com TheMuseintheMirror

    Why hasn’t my comment up here???? Man, it was a good one too!!!

  • victoria

    If I didnt know the ethnic nor national backgrounds of both Alek Wek and Soledad I would say, ”Yes, they are both black women.” I would assume that Soledad is African American and Alek is from an African nation (again, if I was not aware of their backgrounds). Soledad O’Brian looks African American to me. I see many AA women who look like her; including in my family. I wouldnt assume that she is mixed.

  • Apple

    Why is Soledad so obsessed with blackness and little sad black segments on how sad/bad/difficult being black is?? Sorry to say but how Soledad looks her blackness shouldn’t have been Such a hindrance to have to keep making segments like this.. Or maybe she get some masturbatory pleasure for it

  • beautiful mic

    A lot of the historical race mixing, especially with Europeans, was engineered by White Supremacists on purpose.

    During the early and mid-1900s initiatives (deliberate plans/projects) were initiated across Europe to create and grow mixed race populations. The same was done during the colonial era across the African continent by white Europeans.

    The new mixed race movement was simply the next phase in solidifying Anglo-Saxon identity across the kaleidoscope of the posterity of ‘illegal’ miscegenation and European rape of indigenous people and to encourage further hyper-descent, that is marriage and procreation with the prominent (traditionally white) social identity.

    It’s no mistake that the start of that movement aligns with the fall of the black power movement. And it’s no mistake that the white phenotype, in this case, represents Black in America. Because this phenotype sure doesn’t represent the first nation indigenous peoples of West-Central Africa, the core of the Black identity. Trust, they didn’t start calling our first nation African-American Slave ancestors Black or Negro because they looked like Soledad.

    That’s why this makes no sense to me – it’s blasphemy. Why can’t you do what many white people of distant, or minute levels of, sub-Saharan extraction do and simply not identify as Black, especially if you’re marrying/procreating hyperdescent – white in O’brien’s case.

    She is not doing the black race a favor – not the darker, browner, broader aesthetically ranged among us, by referring to herself as Black

    Even if some of us do have non sub-Saharan African admixture/ancestry, we have a prominent degree of sub-Saharan genetic ancestry and characteristics more indicative of the indigenous first peoples of that region. Their physical traits are why were called black to begin with.

    When you, your bloodline, has evolved away from those specific characteristics you’ve become something else in blood quantum and in phenotype. Just like the way the Nordic Caucasian race evolved uniquely from the first dark skinned inhabitants of this this earth.

    Many Westernized/Western blacks seem to be unaware of how white supremacist they truly are.

  • Rue

    No. We are not. Nope. Maybe it cause u are b!tchy….

  • Marcia

    Wow your comment explains why we need to have these conversions. You made some serious assumptions about what they would want to change to or not and went about discounting their “blackness”

  • beautiful mic

    The system of racial classification would be more accurate if people were categorized by dominant blood quantum and physical traits like, or in close proximity to, the indigenous or root population from, or for, which said race classification was created.

    The system of racial classification is not accurate on purpose, in it’s current state, because it lends itself to white hegemony – case in point, with Soledad O’Brien representing who is black in America.

  • Jordin

    Ahhh shat app!

  • SS25

    You really are a troll. Please do something useful with your life…LOSER!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/deniserena so what?

    seriously, why haven’t you been banned?

  • http://valsotherblog.wordpress.com Val

    Are we lab rats? Why does CNN do these reports on us like we are aliens from another planet? I’ll tell you why; because these reports are made for White people, not us. We are being used as some sort of weird life form that must be studied.

    Don’t believe it? Then why isn’t there a White in America series? Why no history of Whiteness in America? There was a time when Italians, Greeks and Germans were not considered White; so why not do a program about that?

    Nope, it’s just too easy to “other” Black people and treat us like animals in a zoo. And the ONLY time that Soledad claims Blackness is when she’s promoting this series.

    No wonder CNN is the last place cable news outlet.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    Soledad isn’t qualified to answer “who is black in America?”. Can we get an actual black person to do this documentary? I won’t be watching. NEXT——>

  • Sandra

    So…what is your point? That she should not film her series at all as she wants?


    Seriously, just trying to understand what you think she’s supposed to be doing lol.

  • Rosey

    You need a life “shawty”

  • Rosey

    People policing blackness is really annoying.

  • Theresa

    Blackness refers to the pigmentation of someone’s skin color. No matter what shade of black you fall in, black is black. From the clip I saw on CNN is not the way to determine what spot a student should sit. This is not a way to build on children’s self esteem. I am concern because I have an eleven year old daughter with real dark skin and she has an African first and last name. I just wish this could be an eye opener in the black community.

  • victoria

    So funny. People get upset when Keisha Cole questions whether she should work with Black Girls Rock because she believes she is mixed. Then people belittle biracial Soledad for considering herself black. Also, people call President Obama the first black president. No, according to my commentors on this site he truly isnt. He’s biracial.

    There are many half black/half whte people who consider themselves black. Why do so many commentors have an issue with that? My children are mixed. I consider them biracial. But I dont object to people who are biracial calling themselves black.

    This is an issue for Soledad because she is often asked about her background. So to question who is she to answer the question… She is posing the question because of her background. I consider her black. She has always looked black to me. I never thought she was mixed because blacks come in all shades.

    And to say she hasnt struggled so she isnt black. She has often stated that many have caused her problems because of her race. She has been teased and discriminated against like most of us.

  • Treece

    Love Soledad O’Brien’s series and I will be watching this installment. I think that multi racial people can definitely speak on THEIR experience being black in america. Why not? The truth is that everyone who identifies as black in America is mixed with a multitude of other races. If your ancestors were slaves in America then there is no question that you are mixed with races other than African. So why hate on Soledad O’Brien and other people who have parents of different races for speaking about their struggle. Yes it’s different than ours (those of us with two black parents and that are more dark skinned than Soledad). But it’s still a struggle. I’m not mad at her at all and I don’t understand why some black women are so offended. Actually, I do understand. Black women still have a lot of “field slave/house negro” resentment going on. Some of those of us with skin darker than a brown paper bag still think that light skinned or mixed race people (particularly other women) have no place commenting on the black experience or identifying with being black. Newflash: white people who don’t like black people don’t care if you’re light or dark. To them, we are all the same and they could care less what shade of negro you are, or where you came from.

  • SS25

    In this country(USA) when we talk about being black, we’re talking about African-Americans. Also since she’s not apart of the Black American community, why does she continue doing these docs about us? Why not focus on the community she’s apart of?

  • beautiful mic

    People not conscious of white hegemony and it’s adverse affects on first nation non-European peoples, worldwide, and their bloodlines is even more annoying.

  • beautiful mic

    People not conscious on how mixed raced populations and racial ambiguity lends to this and the social engineering involved facilitating adverse action towards existence of prominent non-European/non-Caucasian blood quantum, worldwide, but specifically as it applies to African descendants in the West, is super annoying.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis


  • Classy Creole

    I fully unserstand what you’re saying. Growing up I was not dark enough for the blacks and not light enough for the whites. Darker black girls who would to fight or judge me before they knew me, all because of my hair and skin tone. My mother is black and Native American, father is French Creole. I’m sure there are plenty of other women who can related.

  • BreaktheCycle

    *sigh* I really wish there would be a series based in academic research on racial/ethnic identity formation and the processes around it. Not shows that have famous black/multiracial/biracial people on them talking about what they ‘think’ racial identity is.

  • jcross

    Exactly. And people fail to realize that the original Arabs WERE all Black; just like so many other people of color around the world, Europeans mixed with them so long ago that now Arabs are seen as a separate race, instead of Black and White. ‘Arab’ is a nationality, not a race; there are Black Arabs, White Arabs and mixed Arabs (which are the ones we most commonly see)…

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashlaye.fawbush Ashlaye FateLeadsme Fawbush

    And the vicious cycle of colorism continues… Soledad’s intentions are well-meaning and yet many commentators are seeing red. We forget that the many people who are not asking us to our face [the question of race] are doing the talking behind our backs. This program continues to bridge the gap and brings the conversation back to the table. My infant daughter is mixed (black/white) and I make the effort to introduce Black History early, seek out children’s books and Tv programming with multicultural characters and I will continue to do so, because I know she will be constantly made aware of the achievements and status of White Americans as she gets older. In short, I am raising her so that she may fully appreciate and love herself wholeheartedly, not who she is/will be perceived to be b/c the color of her skin, but the blending of two cultures. Let’s stop making our mixed brothers& sisters [i.e. David Jeter, Terrence Howard, Halle Berry, Tia & Tamera Mowry, and yes, Soledad O'Brien] have to pull the race card, shall we?

  • justanotheropinion

    Who else do they have to do it?

  • Jae Bee

    I find it rather ironic that you, criticize Soledad for “speaking for black Americans” and then you attempt to do the same thing. So essentially, you are not an American or a Black American yet you attempt to tell someone who is an American, and who identifies as black, that they are “robbing people of a voice and hijacking their story”. You also feel that you are somehow qualified (as a non-American) to define how an American should be defining themselves and their experience in America.

    Hello pot. Meet Kettle!

  • justanotheropinion

    I’m a product of a white mother and black father. Was raised middle class and “color” was never discussed – nor did it seem to be an issue. A white kid pointed out to me in 5th grade that I was black. I remember going home crying cuz I didn’t know what was going on. Looking back, I can see my dad was heartbroken that this had to be dealt with and the fact that somehow he had failed because his child didn’t know what “Black” meant.

    Freshman yr in college, I had Maulana Karenga as my Afros History teacher at SDSU (of all people!). The class was more than slanted to ‘Pro Black’. I remember feeling uncomfortable. One day, he gave a diatribe about how mulattos were the scum of the Black community. How our ‘whiteness’ was a blight on the Black experience and race. How WE were more concerned about the color of our skin than anyone else. Mulattos were a curse and the problem for the race. I began to shrink inside myself. I felt personally attacked for the first time in my life.

    All eyes turned towards me (everyone else was either obviously black or white). As a lowly freshman, I gathered the nerve to ask ‘why did the color of my skin matter?’ As far as I was concerned, I was Black. That’s what I identified with. I always wondered why ppl always asked me “what are you”? Blacks said I was too white to be Black and Whites said I was too Black to be White. OK – so where does that leave me? Dr. Karenga’s words had me feeling like I was less than the Devil (you have to hear him speak to truly understand this).

    Harsh words were exchanged (mostly by him), tears were shed (all mine), threats of failing the class no matter what was done was voiced by him. I felt broken. Worse, I felt broken by someone that I ‘assumed’ would be in my corner. The scariest part was that the next day, everyone acted like none of this had taken place. And yet, no one would speak to me. It was my first experience into race relations. From Dr. Karenga, I learned that it was up to me to shape how others viewed me. I wasn’t raised to see color, but this experience showed me why colored mattered to many (not all). Blacks/African Americans come in all shades of brown. I had to be sensitive to that and I hoped that others would be also.

    Soledad seems to deal with the hand that is dealt her. Would she do differently if she had control of the content and the end message? I hope so – this series is lacking in reality as well as varied experiences. These CNN specials make it look like they are being all-inclusive, but they never seem to get to the meat of the issues. There is no this or that experience – it’s cumulative and it comes from varied points. All Black Folks ain’t the same.

    Thank you for indulging me. Would be wonderful to never see an article like this again (no offense to the author). The reality is, in my eyes, we are not much further today than we were years in ago in Dr. Karenga’s classroom. Bottom line, color is still an issue — whether you are black, white or purple.

  • Chillyroad

    Alek Wek doesn’t look typically black or African. She comes from a tiny largely endogamous tribe in the South Sudan.

    Why do do many black women throw up Alek Wek as the standard for black or African?

  • beautiful mic

    Let’s take the definition of blackness and throw out the window, for a sec. The issue is bigger than some psuedo,socio-, ambiguity. It’ boils down to genetics, physical traits and ideals.

  • beautiful mic

    The same type of thing that happen under the European Empire regarding sub-Saharan African bloodline dilution happened under Arab rule. And while she may want to identify as black, as this was common in the country during the mid 1900s, most Egyptians, today, do not identify as black, even if they have sub-Saharan African ancestry. They run from those genes the very same why many so-called blacks in the West do by breeding into more prominent Arab (another type of Caucasian) blood quantum. Dark skinned people are still treated like shit in the Arab world, generally. Although, even most of them are also mixed in ancestry like their lighter skinned counterparts.

  • beautiful mic

    Who is on this panel

    1) A white phenotype biracial woman, descended of hyper-descent who ‘claims’ black identity, but has bred in to the, still, dominant superior group – whites.

    2) A light skinned, middle phenotype, black identified woman, presumably a product of hypo-descent, and of black social heritage, who is blatantly mixed race in ancestry

    3) A white man who spats mindless pro-black mumbo-jumbo.(he has some valid points, but if you analyze his preachings further, his theories align themselves with Anglo-Saxon domination)

    Why not have someone like Dick Gregory on the show if you’re going to go down the path of celebrity worship. At least, he can give us a credible account of what it means to be Black in America spanning over 70 years. Why not a scholar like Dr. Boyce Watkins, or someone like Eric Dyson?

  • beautiful mic

    Soledad O’Brien’s claim to black identity is only celebratory in an Anglo-Saxon mind.

  • Classy Creole

    Or maybe Rue…. you are just jealous. And, you sound as if you have a 2nd grade education.

  • victoria


    No, in this country not only African Americans are considered black. Jamaican Americans and blacks from other Caribbean nations are considered black. Africans are considered black. Black Latinos are considered black, and some biracial (half black/ half other) may considered themselves black. So you dont consider President Obama to be black?

  • JaeBee

    What does a “typical” black or African person look like?

  • beautiful mic

    Growing up my kinky hair and African identity made me less desirable by blacks, latinos, whites and mixed raced identified people of African descent.

    Brown, darker and lighter skinned black girls would fight or judge me before they new me because I wasn’t considered American enough – for some of them I looked too African. I was often ridiculed about my African parent’s appearance, because they were dark, and the fact that we wore our hair natural to the point I raised total hell and receive severe beatings just to get a relaxer , to be accepted.

    I was often subjected to questions about my admixture, since my skin is brown. “Are you part white or Indian?” “Why aren’t you dark skinned if you’re African?” To some I looked too African while others didn’t think I looked African enough.

    Mixed race identified girls also distanced themselves from people like me. I grew up around Native American identified girls who did the same.

    I’m 25% Caucasian (from 3 generations ago and beyond) with some native American admixture. No one ever considered me as mixed, even though that lineage has influenced my appearance. No one will, today, consider me as mixed or acknowledge that aspect of my heritage or history.

    I’ve run across African relatives and other Africans who consider me white and/or non-African, because I am half American (born to a light skinned father) and I was born outside of the continent.

    My blackness was constantly challenged by my black peers in the states because of my body build, being foreign born and due to my proper English vernacular, of which is my second language. And, in general, I was simply never American or acceptable enough, one reason being that I carried my maternal maiden surname (instead of my father’s surname), which is African.

    I chalk my experiences up to specific local and personal sentiments, for whatever reasons they were held.

    Don’t know how many people can related to that, but cultural and social race adversity and struggles, in-between-ness, isn’t specific to biracial identified people.

    Many people within the mono-race stratosphere go through that or something similar.

    It seems that society affords many biracial, multiracial or racially ambiguous people the platform to play something similar to the ‘tragic mulatto’ victim role, but the rest of us found in similar cross cultural, cross identity, situations don’t have the luxury of making the sweeping generalizations or placing blame on an entire demographic like the person above has done.

  • beautiful mic

    it’s not the same here. Soledad is deliberately breeding away her sub-Saharan African ancestry, as did her mother – yet, for some reason, she wants to claim black identity. I highly suspect that her mother is a racially privileged Latina of African extraction who likely comes from a long line of people who’ve bred lighter. What’s the chance that the Afro-aspect of this heritage was not even in the register upon their families departure from Cuban and into the U.S. (or where ever they went)

    On the other hand, look at Keysha Cole’s mother, adoptive mother, her siblings and who she chose to procreate with. She’s bred to maintain a substantial degree of the ssa ancestry. Perhaps her dad was Caucasian, Cole doesn’t appear to be trying to flush her bloodline of traits specific to her distant first generation African-American slave ancestors.

    two different people, two different circumstances.

    Just like I am more willing to embrace Lena Horne or Fredi Washington as black, because of their specific family histories and how/why they became black.

    Theirs involves an entirely different history and agenda.

  • beautiful mic

    Maulana Karenga – i had to look him up. He’s really an African-American, not an African. He gave himself that name. It’s clearer, now, because a true African professor would not be so careless as to make such racially fuels statements teaching abroad in country he isn’t native to, especially at a traditionally white college.

    It’s not that all Black folks ain’t the same, race classification is a faulty system.

    And it hasn’t only been mulattos, who look in-between, that have been applied, by whites, as divisive forces to penetrate, dilute and fragment sub-Saharan bloodlines and people, but those of mixed ancestry who don’t look so in-between, have served the same purpose.

    White hegemony and supremacy are the issues because people of all colors perpetuate it, and are of mixed ancestry.

  • cb

    CNN will only have black sistas that look like O’Brien, Whitfield…Halle Berry but never LOOK like say the woman on PBS, Joy Reid from the GRIO

  • cb

    so true!

  • JaeBee

    Let’s be honest. The system of racial classification you propose is equally as silly as the one(s) currently adhered to. If we are going to group people using your methodology we could easily say all tall people are a race separate from short people, all blondes are a race separate from brunettes, and people with big ears are a separate race than those with average ear sizes, etc.

  • Ooh La La

    I see your point. But as for the reference to Keyshia Cole, my annoyance with her saying that comment was the tone with which she stated, “We’ll, actually I’m biracial…” It seemed so condescending, maybe as if she said that to separate/elevate herself above blackness. That, in addition to the fact that the comment was so unwarranted. Not once did anyone ask her about how she feels about being biracial. She could have stated what it was like to participate in Black Girls Rock without mentioning that at all, especially not in a crowd full of black people.

  • Ooh La La

    There’s a difference between being light-skinned and passing for white. Beyoncé is light-skinned. Soledad could pass for white. Obviously, we all have struggles as it relates to race, but let’s all stop pretending they are equivalent or of the same nature. They’re not.

  • Gina

    This has to be one of the most ignorant, ill-informed comments I have ever read. No, this is not new , but it still needs to be addressed because it is still relevant and very REAL in the black community.

    So what exactly would “help the cause” if an open, televised conversation about this issue will not due.

  • Gina

    So..what exactly is an “actual” Black person?

  • AC

    I feel like the “Black in America” series should just end. How long are they going to continue with this? Plus they never show anything positive about black people. It’s always something wrong with blacks in the undertone of the reporting. My only problem with Soledad O’brian is not that she is a biracial women, but she is not ethnically black american so why is she the reporter of the series? When she did “Latino in America” that made sense to me because the black part of her is Latino. The series does not focus on other black ethnic groups like Caribbean, Latinos or Africans (which they really should because these groups have blacks in them too), just Black Americans. So why is she speaking for Black Americans if she herself is not of the Black American ethnic group.

  • SS25

    President Obama is mixed.(Irish/Kenyan) In the grand scheme of things 99.9% of time when people in this country reference anything black they’re talking about African-Americans.

  • The Other Jess

    Finally a comment that makes sense on this topic – “Black in America” series needs to END. GET OVER IT, MEDIA PEOPLE. Who cares what some idiots think of black people? All this series has ever tried to do was divide Black people or negate who we are. Don’t trust this series as they try to push colorism via CNN. More garbage.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    “why does she continue doing these docs about us?”

    IMHO, although this is ugly I have to say it: she is fair skinned and inoffensive to a White audience, so they are using her as a token.

    That’s why these shows are off, imo. They’re superficial and tidy. They’re simplistic. Is she she going to discuss the reality that we almost never see dark-skinned Blacks in positions of power?

    IMO, that’s the greater issue because it affects a far larger number of people with much more damaging consequences.

    Yes, I’ve had people constantly ask me “What are you?” but I’ve probably gotten more privilege than discrimination because of who I am — members of my family who are even fairer than Soledad have gotten even more privilege. Will she address the likelihood that she wouldn’t be as prominent if she weren’t racially ambiguous?

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    Thank you. This is going to be another pedestrian, simplistic show with cliched answers at the end. This does more harm than good.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    “So essentially, you are not an American or a Black American yet you attempt to tell someone who is an American, and who identifies as black, that they are “robbing people of a voice and hijacking their story”. ”

    Your comments make no sense.

    I am an American citizen, but I am ethnically Franco-Haitian and would be classified as racially “Black”. Technically, I am ethnically Afro-Latin. Soledad’s mother is not Black American, she is/was Cuban. So she is ALSO ethnically Afro-Latin but racially Black.

    Americans have a very serious problem distinguishing between race and ethnicity, because American culture is quintessentially racist.

    1. Americans believe Black people are a monolith/ Black people are the same.

    2. Therefore, there are no Black cultures, only one.

    Both of those assertions are false.

    I did not have a problem with “American” O’Brien saying she’s Black. I’m saying her speaking for ethnically American Blacks is like a French person speaking for a Russian — it makes ZERO sense. Yes, they are both White and European. But they are not having the same lived experiences

    The issues facing the ethnically American Black community are rooted in a very distinct culture and economic reality. Presenting one’s self as coming from that reality is dishonest.

    In short, does she trace her family’s Black lineage to America, or a Latin American country? How is she ethnically Black American, then?
    The bottom line, as I said before, is that there is a motive and target audience in doing these shows, and trust me, it’s about money and the target audience is not Black. This is a commercial ethnography about Black people that targets a White audience. That’s why it’s so superficial and problematic.

  • K. Moore

    If you think the,”Black In America” series should end then don’t it then. Plain and simple,I’m sure it would still have high ratings even if you don’t watch. However,I do agree they never show anything positive,just negative thins.

  • jcross

    Indeed sis. It reminds me of how so many Brazilians with obvious Black ancestry deny their Blackness all the time. In every culture that has been infiltrated by White blood, the hierarchy exists, with the lighter ones closer to the top and the darker ones treated like crap.

  • http://www.civilalertradio.com Morena Indios


    Peace and gracious thanks for posting this interview. I am familiar with the Black in America series and I have noticed that in the reports there hasn’t been information regarding the hidden history of the so-called Black American.
    Since you all are associated with the top news station that is known throughout the world, it may be beneficial for your audience to learn the truth about themselves. It will be good to provide a foundational report so that the people realize that Black is not an identity or a nationality. Black is a caste system classification that was instituted in the Americas via the Portuguese and Spanish after the Fall of the Moorish kingdoms in Spain 1491. After Columbus’s arrival and after the influx of Spanish explorers and missionaries the same exact types of caste systems and codes that were used against the Moors of Spain were utilized as a tool of control and denationalization amongst the Moors of the Americas and the adjoining islands. Contrary to popular myths and revised history, the Moors were found in America upon Spanish and Portuguese arrival.

    In Regards to the Adjoining Islands, Lets talk about CUBA.

    Soledad, since you have Cuban roots I am sure that you love that famous Cuban food dish
    Cristianos y Moros.
    Cristianos = Christians/representing the white rice
    Moros=Moors/Mohammedans/Moslems/Muslims representing the black beans.

    Also lets look at the famous word “Morena” = The Spanish Word for Brown

    Soledad, Why haven’t you told the people that they are the “Moors” of the Far West?
    Dr. Blay have you researched the hidden history of America in regards to the illustrious history of the Moors who have been reclassified as being Negor, Negro, Black, Blackamoor, Blackmoors, etc. etc. Both of you have attended Ivy League Schools and I have found that the Ivy League School Libraries contain a wealth of history about the Moors of America.
    If you all are privy about the illustrious ancient hidden history of America then pardon my commentary. I emplore you to utilize such illustrious knowledge about the ancient Moors of America and use it to compile a report and tell the people the truth. I ask you all to refrain from promoting the “Black” Game. The Black Game consists of calling people “black” identifying with the world “black” and not telling the people that Black is a fiction that has been historically used to keep darkness in the minds of the original, indigenous inhabitants of the western hemisphere. In lieu of the truth about the American history we were given movies to watch like Roots that placed the idea out that every single Moorican/Morican is from Africa and that they reached America via a slave ship. The fact of the matter is that over 85% of the so-called “black, negors, negros” were already in America and their ancestors have been In America since time immemorial.

    Dr. Blay you wrote a book about Ghana. Ask the El’ders in Ghana about the hidden American history. They will tell you first hand that the Moors are the original people of America. Not the amalgamated Native Americans and American Indians.

    Soledad, ask the El’ders in Cuba about the Pan-American Conference of 1928 and ask your El’ders in Cuba about Noble Drew Ali? Ask them about the Moors? Also ask the Elder’s from your Irish family who was St. Patrick and why did he run the Moors out of Ireland?

    No disrespect but, organic news reporting can only exist when the organic foundations and concepts of the subject matter are clear. If you are going to explain to the people that Black is a caste system then the title of your program is perfect. However, if you are position Black as being a Race, Identity, Ethnicity/Nationality than the title is being used in error.

    Soledad, are you really Black? Or are you Irish, Spanish and a Cuban Moor?
    If you say that you are black then you are insinuating that the word black is a nationality, pedigree and identity. From your illustrious studies and travels, I am sure that you realized that in the international arena, people are classified by nationalities and not by crayon colors.

    In moving forward , we the people of the Western Hemisphere implore both of you sisters to research the true roots so that you can bring the true fruits into the fold of your reports, articles and books.
    Remember it is not the money and notoriety that makes the woman. It’s the principles, standards and national standing. Black was never and will never be a nationality. It is an artificial construct put in place to hide the true identity from the descendants of the ancient Americans(Moricans/Moro’cans)

    Let’s take a look at some more Spanish

    • Los Gentes de Moricanes (Mor’I’can’es).
    - The People of the Americas, The Mors/Moors

    • Los Gentes de Maurikanos (Mauri’kan’os)
    - The People of the Americas, The Maurs/Murrs.

    Did you all ever wonder why former Pres. Bush said “Amurrica”?
    The media laughed at him but, I and many others knew exactly what he was saying.

    Land of the Murrs –A’murr’ica
    Land of the Mers – A’mer’ica
    Land of the Mors – A’mor’ica
    Land of the Mors – Mor’ica
    Land of the Maurs- Maur’ika
    Land of the Moors – Moor’ica

    With that said, I close with grace and peace.
    Adios Endios!

    Adios (A’dios) A = Spanish for “to” Dios= Spanish for “God”
    Adios means “to God”
    Adios now has a popular connotative meaning of “Goodbye”
    Endios (En’dios) En = Spanish for inside of or within. Dios= Spanish for “God”
    Endios means “In God”
    Endios has been transliterated to Indios
    Then Indios became India
    Then India became Indian.

    In 1492 India was called Hindustan. When the Columbus arrived to the adjoining islands of America he
    called the people Indios because of the spiritual and religious practices. When one studies they will see that in ancient times the European explorers called people in Africa “Indios” as well. The reason being is because the Moors of the entire world had embedded religious and spiritual practices into their day-to-day lifestyle and in that lifestyle homage and honor is given to the life force and essence of God as represented within nature, the cosmos, people, and animals.

    In ancient maps the Indios of America were depicted as being chocolate/copper color in complexion with wooly hair and a head dress of feathers. In 1492 India was called Hindustan. Sisters, ask your Hindu colleagues or co-workers about Hindustan.

    American Indios are actually the Moors of America who are in God.
    Moors are a nation of peoples.

    Black is not a nation of peoples. Black has no international or global standing.

    Black is a caste system label that was branded onto the enslaved to keep their true identity hidden.
    The reinforcement of the caste system was done by the institution of Black Slave Codes.
    The people who have the means to inform the masses must elect to stop pushing the “Black Game”.

  • Ask_ME

    You sir/ma’am are racist.

    We don’t have a right to decide who is/isn’t black. Soledad O’Brien’s mother was a dark-skinned black woman (Google it).

    As a black woman married to a white man, I am not deliberately breeding out my African Ancestry. Instead I met a man, fell in love and I am looking forward to the day WE have children. How those children decide to define themselves is up to them…not me…and not you.

    THE END.

  • http://gravatar.com/mimiandy1683 MimiLuvs

    I am starting to think that Clutch is behind this mess.

  • http://gravatar.com/mimiandy1683 MimiLuvs

    I was thinking the same thing too.
    And not just for the Keyshia Cole incident, but there’s the article about Beyoncé and her L’Oreal “True Identity” commercial and with the racial classification that was advertised. Then, there was article about being a ‘regular ole’ black girl’ and the article about only 5% of Black Americans in this country had Native American Ancestry.
    Girl, there is so many Clutch articles to choose from.
    But with certain folks, you can’t win for losing.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    A person with 2 black parents. You know what an actual white person is right?? ughh

  • Kam

    That incident really should have been reported to the institution, not just by you, but by the others in the class. That was simply unacceptable.

  • Gina

    That answer is just.. WOW! Smh. And we are still wondering why we need a show like this….

  • simplyme

    lol I agree. I finally watched the clip and it actually looked like they thought identifying as Black was like doing Black people a favor in a way…like an act of altruism…rubbed me the wrong way.

  • Lisa a

    Terrence Howard’s father is a man of African descent who looked white in appearance—-the son a white man. His father was not white. More, rather than dividing ourselves up as sheep for slaughter with such topics, why not talk about what we ALL share. That is, the same rich blood mixture irregardless of whether both parents are of African descent or one parent is whtie or other. We are ALL a people of African and European and Other bloods and come in all hues. Celebrate this sameness and STOP with the constant divisiveness!

  • Lisa a.

    More, rather than dividing ourselves up as sheep for slaughter with such topics, why not talk about what we ALL share. That is, the same rich blood mixture irregardless of whether both parents are of African descent or one parent is whtie or other. We are ALL a people of African and European and Other bloods and come in all hues. Celebrate this sameness and STOP with the constant divisiveness!

  • beautiful mic

    Forget the concept of racism and being a racist. It’s a system of entrapment that facilitates and justifies the genocide of non-Nordic Caucasian bloodlines no matter how you look it

    It invalidates protest to the noticed and confirmed genocide of phenotype and sub-Saharan African blood quantum, and supports the further dilution of these those supposed love.

    I’m sure those plantation owners, who started this progression of generational bloodline dilution, absolutely loved the slaves they raped and the children those acts produced.

  • beautiful mic

    An another thing… It bothers me that so many people think that a person who marries you and procreates with you can’t be racist towards you, or feel that they are doing your bloodline a favor by procreating with you; or take joy in knowing that knowing that your offspring will have less of the traits indicative of your race group.

    There are plenty examples of people who have chastised their own offspring for carrying physical traits they are, or have become, disgusted by even if said person carries them themselves or even if their spouse has these types of traits…having supposedly married, or they/their spouse believed that they did, in the name of love.

    Can you just imagine all the reasons, facade and the deception, involved out there when it comes to perceived love, marriage, aesthetics and race?

    I know man, he is dark skinned with narrow facial features, who married a light skinned woman with broad facial features. One day, during my visit with them, he jokingly expressed his detest for his wife’s huge nose. He stated that he knew his kids would be cute, but worried his children would have her nose. However, he was happy that they came out with “normal sized noses” – as called them. Then he went on to turn to his wife, and in her face, chastising her “Damn you got a big nose, and it’s gotten bigger, too. Got Damn!” They both laughed. Then he went on, talking about her other relatives with large, wide, noses – cracking all kinds of jokes.

    He was joking, but partly serious. He basically suggested that his wife’s other features, being it her other physical traits or her personality, compensated for the fact that her nose was large. And thanks to him, their noses aren’t huge.

    And I notice one thing about all the his kid’s spouses, they all have narrow facial features and are white or light skinned individuals.

    A person can marry you ‘in love’ and still have those sorts of sentiments about the physical traits of your gene pool.

  • Gina

    @isis. SMH… Your way of thinking is exactly why we need this type of program and discussion.

  • beautiful mic

    Talking about what we all share, because we share many things with any given person within any given race…doesn’t help the plight of the dominant bloodlines that made us black to begin with.

    It does help address the directing we, people who have these dominant genes, traits and/or cultural identities, specifically are being systematically steered and socially engineered.

  • beautiful mic

    Black people are not a monolith, now, but that’s by design. This design lends itself to Anglo-Saxon domination over our bloodlines and identities.

    The ‘allowed’ ambiguity in the largely and purposeless inaccurate race classification system lends itself to this.

    We’ve been socially engineered to become, evolve into, the porcelain veneer, mirror image, of whites.

    Someone like Soledad O’Brien is very representative of that goal and close we’re approaching it.

  • beautiful mic

    This is the desired direction main stream, white supremacist, society wishes to direct Black people. This is why someone like Soledad O’Brien is given the platform of being a a purveyor of blackness.

    They didn’t choose a person who has natural-born aesthetic of someone like Alek Wek or Viola Davis because that is threatening to white society.

  • beautiful mic

    …and not only threatening to white individuals, but to anyone with an Anglo-Saxon ideology/mindset.

    We’re in the mist of very long-term psychological war and, it seems, most black people welcome defeat.

  • beautiful mic

    They may be ill-directed by your standard, but it is because not every follows or aligns themselves with the ideology under which you’ve been conditioned.

    The universe is a huge place where knowledge in infinite. Most humans on this earth, including myself, have and will never experience the full breadth of knowledge and degrees of perception available to use for the fact that we become limited through social programming. Our thoughts become navigated by invisible authority, bandwagon, programing, etc…

    Who gets to decide what is ignorant and why? You, your mother, your professor, your pastor, the president, the richest man on earth, the person who claims, or whom others claim, know the most?


    The open, televised, conversation, is very controlled, skewed and biased.

  • AC

    Actually, I don’t watch the show. Haven’t watched it since the first series. I was so disgusted watching that negative reporting I didn’t even finish it. I feel as though this show not targeted to a black audience anyway; it’s target audience is the majority. But I will voice my concern because I am tired of all the negative reporting I see surrounding black people, whether Black Americans, Caribbeans (i.e. reporting around Haiti), or the continent of Africa. Yes I know we have struggles in our communities but everyone does. You don’t see their struggles as much as ours. Not all white people have it together either.

  • beautiful mic

    Weren’t black people were re-approaching something of a monolithic state during the civil rights era/mid 1900s, and the black power movement. Many Afro Native Americans forfeited their Native American identities to unite as one with other slave descendants under the Black/Negro identity.

    This was when the government opened the opportunity for an influx of African descendants from other nations, especial…which paralleled the other things they were doing…

    This helped re-created fragmentation among African descendents in this country, and re-strengthen the cultural and identity division between Afro-descended peoples worldwide.

  • beautiful mic

    She’s not being a hypocrite if she does not consider her black. She can’t speak for black Americans, especially if she’s not black.

    There are plenty of other, now, white identified/white phenotype people of black ancestry who also can not speak for black people. Many wouldn’t, anyway, but they have no business doing so.

    If you don’t experience the discrimination people with my set of features face, you can’t speak for me or present to me anything of what it’s like. All you can do is present others’ experiences.

    All that she can come up with is how other black people didn’t see here as black. Did she ever talk about how whites see her?

    The fact is, the genes can be bred out, and you, then, become something else = not black.

    Is Carol Channing black? Is Anderson Cooper black? They both have black ancestry?

    Don’t come to me after 2-3 generations of your bloodline breeding with Nordic Caucasians, looking all Nordic Caucasian, talking about I’m black and I’m proud to be black. Why’d you flush the genes out then?

    You running from negro, negroid, talkin’ about you proud to be black?

    You crazy! And anyone that believes that -ish is crazy!

    If she’s black, so is Queen Elizabeth of England. So is very last white person on this earth, since we all descended from the dark skinned peoples of Africa.

    They want to act like the race definitions are SO LOOSE< if that's the case why do we still deal with colorism, and discrimination and other systematic sh!t?

    The most someone like O'Brien can be is honorary black, like Teena Marie – and that's about it.

  • beautiful mic

    Kumbaya is nice, sounds nice, but it doesn’t work for everything, and all the time.

  • beautiful mic

    +”Whoever chooses to self identify as such”

    Yeah, and I’ve seen where non-blacks have been culturally embraced, and identified as black, by the black community:

    1) Teena Marie
    2) Johny Otis

    You’d never see this happen the other way around, the most, for example, an ethnic Dinka Sudanese-American person would acheive is token black status.

    Someone who looked like that, but was part of the Latino culture is barely embraced as Latino – they wouldn’t even be represented in the media in their cultural home country and would like face severe discrimination there.

    It’s always US that has to compromise when it comes to identity and such.

  • WhatIThink

    The fact is that most Hispanic people, no matter how they look are by definition a mix of native american, African and European. It isn’t shocking to me based on my knowledge of American history.

    Unfortunately most black folks are sadly lacking in that department.

    Which is why CNN has to do a story on Being black in America because black folks obviously don’t get it yet. They don’t get it because being black in America every black should know from day one when they grow up in their homes. But our people have decided that this isn’t a priority and have left it to the streets, the school system and the media to teach their children what it means to be black in America. And that is why you got the retarded black folks you see in America today.

    It is funny really. It is 2012 an we still need the white owned media to tell our story. It is sad and silly really. But hey just run out and make some mixed offspring with non black folks and everything is great in post black America where you too can be another soledad obrien….. seems to be what some idiots promote.

  • Ask_ME

    @beautiful mic

    You need to stop projecting. Everyone doesn’t care about race as much as you obviously do. I married my husband because I love him. Not because of his features. I’m quite certain the same is true for him.


    I don’t personally care who/what anyone marries. People aren’t required to stick with their racial group…nor is it practical for them to do so all the time. If a black woman or black man meets a great non-black person that makes him/her happy I say more power to them.

    Life is too short. The world is FULL of people. A lot of us are more concerned with finding someone that shares our work ethic, morals, standards and dreams for the further rather than race.

  • Ask_ME

    Put Soledad next to a white woman that came from TWO white parents and you will notice the difference between the two of them. Soledad clearly looks more “tan” than the average white woman out here.

    And once again, we don’t have a right to determine who is black and who is not.

    Truth be told, if Barack Obama wasn’t who he is I would think he was just another black man if I passed him on the street <—This is why the line between black and biracial cannot be easily drawn.

  • Ask_ME

    People evolve that’s what we do (i.e., evolution). We mix. We mingle. We don’t stay the same. We are not intended to stay the same. Men mate with women. Women mate with men. There is no race attached to this ritual.

    This belief of “keeping it black and pure” or “white and pure” is increasingly disappearing as the younger generation beings to take the reigns from the old guard.

    Some of us can’t wait for the day when people like you and your white counterparts (white supremacist) die off. This world will truly be a better place.

    People are people. Love is love.

  • Shawna

    You know that they are never actually going to see this, right?

  • herStory

    So, let me get this straight ….Barack Obama is considered black, born of a black (Kenyan) father and American (white) mother, however, Soledad O’Brien isn’t considered black (enough), born of a black (Cuban) mother and white (Australian) father. So, what’s the differentiating factor? Barack is a male, so he gets an unconditional “black” pass; Soledad is a woman, so her “black” is questionable and needs to be scrutinized? Just curious.

  • Cara Lee


  • JaeBee

    Colette, your comments are so full of logical fallacies I don’t have the time of day to go through and dismantle them all one by one. Here’s the thing…The title of the show is “Black in America: Who is Black in America?” NOT “African Americans in America: Who is African American in America?”. Why you choose to focus on the fact that Soledad is ethnically Cuban when ethnicity has NOTHING to do with what this show is about is beyond me. I still find it ironic however that you feel she should have no business speaking on the issue since she is not “African American” yet you feel it’s alright to put your two cents into the discussion and you’re not African American.

  • Peanut

    no one cares about your skin and hair

  • Wiseman

    Unfortunately, CNN is complicity advocating the agenda of divide and rule. The tactic was a means slave owners and modern hegemonic forces utilize to keep the poor politically and economically marginalized (mostly dark skin Blacks), and those dark skin Black people of African decent do not look like Soledad. CNN Black in America is an agenda of divisiveness. This agenda is strategic in that it portrays to serve a well-meaning message of inclusion, but you must not ignor the sinister realities it fails to address. The program fails miserable in addressing the real realities and structures our political establishment have put in place to keep darker skin Black people of African decent economically at a disadvantage. Darker skin Black people of African decent are underrepresented in Education, are incarcerated more than any other race for criminal drug offenses rather than drug abuse treatment, are marginalized in the Capital and Commodities market, are marginalized in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, area marginalized in the Judicial, Legislative and Executive branches of government. We darker skin Black people of African decent want to participate in the positive development of our World. We too want to contribute to society. We don’t want this artificial stigma of oppressed people. The struggle of the darker skin Black person is seen when you apply for a job, apply for a business loan, apply for a mortgage, fill out your college aps, run for office, get pulled over by the police because you are driving a modest vehicle and on and on. It follows you every where you go in life. It is a HUGE stigma and it is UGLY. We must not continue to deceive ourselves by failing to speak the UGLY truth. What Soledad, are you fearful CNN executive board will terminate your employment contract firsts you scared of the political backlash? Or is this all for the ratings? Which is it? The real questions is, why are dark skinned people marginalized in every walk of life? I mean, Asian Americans don’t get this visceral treatment from the political establishment, Latino Americans don’t either, and not even people from the Middle East. However, when you are a darker skin Black or African person, the political and economic marginalization has no comparison. Soledad, these darker skin Black people of African decent are the people your CNN Black in America program fails to address. They are the most discriminated against in all walks of life. The trouble is, well meaning weak people keep silent or play the pretend not to see the UGLY dark skin game of divisiveness for their economic interest. Perfect example, the CNN Black in America interviewed a young bi-racial lady of Egyptian decent. The young lady was asked, what do you identify as? She said Black. However, when she went to fill out her college application, she filled in the White or Caucasian or North African check box. This was not because our census bureau classifies her as such but because she knows her chances of being accepted to her University of choice is significantly increased. So, we must not pretend we don’t see the realities right in front of us or you must not believe your lying eyes. Soledad is better off interviewing people who our federal government “really” classifies as Black.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)


    “Why you choose to focus on the fact that Soledad is ethnically Cuban when ethnicity has NOTHING to do with what this show is about is beyond me. ”

    It had EVERYTHING to do with the show, as the case of the Egyptian students showed. The student claims to be Black, checks “White” on demographic forms (as defined by the US Census), and is perceived as very ambiguous.

    Soledad’s own ambiguity gives her access and upward mobility and is also atypical from the “Black” experience — how many “Black” people do you know can be defined as “White” by the census bureau?

    There comes a point when a Black person is too phenotypically White to experience the same degree of discrimination as a person who is very obviously of African descent — some of my family members are now less than a quarter Black, due to intermarriage in America. It is also problematic to present people as predominantly Black who CLEARLY are not.

    The problem with your posts is that you will not address any of these issues, like O’brien. It’s an infantile perspective.

    She’s done repeated installments of this show with a very specific slant on the American Black community — again, it’s the central problem.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    “Soledad O’Brien isn’t considered black (enough), born of a black (Cuban) mother and white (Australian) father. So, what’s the differentiating factor?”

    The differentiating factor is that if O’brien’s mother is Cuban, her mother was already racially mixed as the Caribbean and Latin America have the highest degree of racial admixture in the world (please don’t restate that Black Americans are mixed too — it just isn’t the same thing). As a result, O’brien is most likely LESS than half Black.

    The second factor is how she is perceived. She is perceived as an extremely fair, racially ambiguous woman. That is NOT the typical Black experience in America because of the types of privileges afforded to those people.

    There comes a point when a person is too phenotypically White to experience the degree of racism a dark-skinned person experiences. Being from an atypical, racially mixed background is also an extremely different predicament and one that gives access to privilege.

  • http://gravatar.com/lorrainyday Kira

    Why do I have to define my blackness? People seem to want a simple, short answer to who we are ….they want to categorize us based on pre-conceived notions and definitions…as if it’s too difficult to admit that we are so much more complex than that. They want to understand us without having to know us. Personally, I get tired of these labels and these arguments of who’s what and who’s not…as if there is one right answer. There never will be because we are all unique individuals. I don’t believe we can be organized into neat little boxes that describe who we are.

  • Ask_ME

    I honesty believe folks here have an issue with black/biracial people born from BW/WM.

  • Ask_ME

    Looks like you have some serious issues you need to work on.

    Soledad O’Brien has never identified as anything other than a BLACK woman.

    It seems you are questioning her blackness based on WHO she married and procreated with…I noticed you comment on this a few comments back. This leads me to believe that your issues with people like Soledad are much more deeper than how they choose to identify themselves.

    Oh well, you need to move on with your life. You cannot tell people how they should/shouldn’t identify. Furthermore, you cannot stop them from identifying as black.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Barack Obama bred to preserve a considerable level of SSA blog quantum and physical traits in his offspring. He married into the black phenotype.

  • Beautiful Mic

    I suppose you’ve know her personally – for her entire life.

    Yes, I do question her blackness if she and her mother chose to breed an a way that drastically reduces sub-Saharan blood quantum and first-nation SSA indigenous traits.

    I can’t tell people how to shit, but I have every prerogative to question and doubt them. Get your d*mn life…

  • Beautiful Mic

    Like I stated, don’t profess to me you pride in being black when you are a product of hyper descent, have opted to do the same, and the the aesthetic you and your offspring carry look nowhere near what those ancestors for whom this separate social/physical race category was created in the first place.

    You’re not proud of being black if you don’t breed into those traits. That’s my opinion and my doubt. I have every right to have it, will continuing with my own life. Now, do you.

  • Ask_ME

    @Beautiful Mic

    No I don’t know her personally BUT I have read her autobiography. She identifies as a BLACK WOMAN throughout it and that’s good enough for me. Not to mention she identified as a BLACK WOMAN last night on this program.

    You can question her blackness all you want. It won’t change a thing. You cannot stop her or any other biracial person from identifying as BLACK. Nor do you have a right to do so.

    You’re “rules” of blackness mean absolutely nothing to these people. You questioning or doubting them will NEVER pay their bills. You mean NOTHING to these people.

  • Ask_ME

    Your black nationalist B.S. has no place in this world. You will continue to find it misplaced as MORE AND MORE PEOPLE CONTINUE TO MIX.

    You’re no different than many of white supremacist out here preaching “pure” whiteness.

    Sorry, sweetie…but we are moving away from a pure black aesthetic as well as a pure white aesthetic. The world’s people are quickly becoming a mixture of both.

  • Beautiful Mic

    It has less to do with nationalism, and to do with a specific aesthetic range and blood quantum percentage, and the continuum of these in future generations, verse their disappearance.

    You can take the suggested nationalism bs and shove it.

    I’m quite different that a white supremacist. White supremacists don’t want other groups to exist without their influence. Everyone else can exist, but just don’t try to continue to dilute the bloodlines of my ancestors and other populations with prominent sub-Saharan African traits the the imposition of Anglo-Saxon biased social and psychological conditioning and control. We can all work and exist together, interracial marriage/breeding is even permissible, but don’t lump us all in the same category and consider groups carrying distinctively different phenotypes the same while systematically promoting the prominent phenotype of your group, which did not originate among other groups, into those other groups as the standard, expected, etc…

    That’s not being a white supremacist.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Come at me when CNN hires female anchors who have the darkest and purplest/bluest skin color/hues, and visibly wearing the tightest, kinkiest, hair texture known to mankind.

  • Ask_ME

    You need to take that up with CNN/Time Warner/Ted Turner…not Soledad O’Brien or people that look like her.

    I get it now….the green-eye monster is showing in your comments and it’s not a good look. It’s easy to blame individuals rather than the system and those doing the hiring. It’s the typical move of a coward.

  • Beautiful Mic

    What is there to be green-eyed about?

    This is about true equality and diversity, and truth in representation, not all the skewed and biased representation and manipulation of blacks in image/appear going on in our society.

    A coward would not speak out in protest of anything. I have the prerogative to voice my opinion

    Where the hell am I placing blame? I’ve placed it on the system. I’ve also suggested that people are way to passive in what they allow the system to perpetuate counter the the black existence. Advocating for the existence, and increased existence, of the white phenotype and low sub-Saharan African genetic % within the black race is counter to the black existence.

    All I’m saying is that she’s not black, especially if she’s breeding away from traits that defined people as black in the first place.

    Only in an Anglo-Saxon mind would my sentiment make me insecure, jealous, or a racist.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Ok, let’s put her beside:

    - Paula Abdul
    - Blis Broyard
    - Catherine Zeta-Jones
    - Victoria Beckham
    - Nelly Furtado
    - Sophia Loren
    - Meagan Fox
    - Fran Drescher
    - Jo Frost

    There is no difference.

  • OJN

    Who is black in America?
    What an offensive question. The are millions of AA who are black because both of
    their parents were black and their parents were black and their parents were
    black. I have traced my family back a 196 years and they were all black. I grew up in a AA household in which AA culture and heritage was taught to me.
    It is also offensive to keep saying I am black because of how white people see/ treat me. I don’t like this idea that being AA is some kind of default for biracial people because they can’t be white. I saw the show and it was just a plethora of biracial people talking about how they struggle with being called black. Now, what does that have to do with people like me who are AA on both sides? Nothing. It’s should have been called
    Who is biracial?
    What irritates me is the notion that there is no co cultural currency in have AA parents. Not sure why people think AA is not a REAL ethnic group.
    The one drop rule that treats black “blood” like a contaminant. I no
    longer ascribe to the one drop rule nor do I take it as a personal offensive if
    people identify as biracial. I don’t assume Black + Other = Black. I am not trying to force, cajole anyone into being black. If one who identifies themselves as black fine, but if they don’t fine.

  • victoria


    At the end of the day, it’s Soledad’s complexion and her white husband that has some of the commentors questioning her ability to present this program. People arent happy and it shows in their reactions to many issues/ threads presented on this site. You cant keep pointing out thier ”green eyed problems”. Trust me, being black is not up any of the commentors on this site. People of biracial backgrounds dont need our validation. And btw, if Fox News mentioned that Obama was not black these commentors will be flipping out.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Quote: We don’t want Black models because you have big butts and noses, and blacks are too poor!

    Summaries : Size zero high-end ethnic – http://www.rccil.org.uk/866/summaries/size-zero-highend-ethnic.html

    This kind of thinking is definitely not limited to the UK or the fashion industry.

  • Treece

    Even if Soledad could “pass for white”, if she chooses to claim her biracial-ness and do a special on the struggles of people who have parents of different races, then so be it. Who are we to judge and say whether or not she can call herself black? Nobody is saying that people don’t get treated differently b/c of thier skin tone. I realize that. But some of us (Blacks) tend to get unnecessarily peeved when a light skinned or multiracial person talks about thier problems growing up and living in America. Also, I doubt Soledad could pass for white. Hispanic maybe, but not white

  • Beautiful Mic

    Another example of aesthetic/race bias in the media/entertainment industry:

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    “In this country(USA) when we talk about being black, we’re talking about African-Americans.”

    I’ve seen things here on Clutch criticizing black people of Caribbean/Latin American heritage who, it is claimed, don’t want to identify as black, even though they really are. And here you are making a statement that excludes Afro-Caribbean/Afro-Latina people in the US from the category of black in America. So do they count as black or not? If these people aren’t black in America, then what are they?

    My view is that the idea that in the US, black means African-American is somewhat problematic, because apart from all the black people in the world who aren’t African-American, there are plenty of black people in the US who don’t identify ethnically as African-American. But that doesn’t make them any less black. Even in the US, African-American and black are not exactly equivalent.

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    To be honest, what I take from that is that more people in the US need to be aware that black doesn’t just mean African-American, and to keep that in mind when they’re referencing blackness/anything black.

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gina


    “Other races don’t play that crap. They take pride in their race. It’s either all or nothing with them. You’re either fully one of them or you’re not one of them at all. Call it arrogance if you want, but all those people are doing better than blacks.”

    No only skin heads think this way and you sound just like one of them.

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gina

    So, you want people (specifically government) to address the struggles of Black America and do something to put us in a better place, but not openly discuss the issues in the Black community?

    Soledad also did a series called Latino in America.

    Also, I didn’t know Blackness was something that needs to be “claimed”. How exactly does one go about this?

  • Beautiful Mic

    I sure would flip out if they were talking about Obama ain’t black. He’s did not ‘run from negro’.

    I’d flip if they suggested Fredi Washington wasn’t black, too.

    I give Obama credit – again, he chose to breed into the black phenotype and prominent sub-Saharan lineage.

    Don’t be a product of people running from those traits through your breeding practicing, turn around and repeat the same thing, then tell me you are PROUD to be black.

    No, I can’t control what anyone calls them self, and they can’t control how I perceive them despite what they profess.

    They can’t make me believe them and society can’t force me to buy into racial fluidity. It’s a facade to justify white hegemony.

  • Beautiful Mic


  • anon

    the issue is that many blacks and biracials are white supremacists.

    they either don’t realize it, or fully realize it and deny it and continue to assist in carrying out white supremacist agendas by playing victim and promoting ideas of racial fluidity when it only serves in the best interest of further global Anglo-Saxon domination.

  • http://www.thebloominglife.wordpress.com Nina Renee

    Did any of you guys watch it? I was aghast at the Egyptian girl who insists she’s black but checked “white” on her college applications. Funny how she’s aware that being white entitles her. A so-called real black person could never do that.

  • LolaChi

    Exactly. She was proud to solely identify as black up until came to filling out those college apps. Wouldn’t she receive more scholarship money by checking off black though? I wish every “black” person had that luxury.

  • Jointarms

    This is America. Corporations do not give a shit about equality, profits, morality, activism, philosophical Paradign Shifts or quite frankly my rant. Corporations pay attention when you HIT there bottom-line. Now, the old boycott and protest methods are no longer effective. If you don’t agree with the messaging a particular Corporate entity is marketing then dump there stocks, pull out your mutual funds, reallocate your 401K to a broker you are more in-line with. Get your colleagues to support you.

  • apple

    where can i watch this? i missed it last night

  • OJN

    Sorry about the typos.
    My thumbs were not fully awake to use my IPOD.

  • donnadara

    She checked white because she didn’t want to be perceived as perpetrating a fraud. On the applications, it said that Egyptians should check white.

  • http://gravatar.com/solfresh solfresh

    At the beginning I was rooting for her. Once they aired that segment of her filling out college apps, I was so appalled. All I could do was hold my head in my hands because it’s that mentality that will always perpetuate colorism. Always.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    No system of racial classification is accurate. Large populations are simply not generalizable. Any given “race” of significant size would necessarily have a wide range of physical traits. Physical traits are also dynamic within specific populations based on factors such as environment. This is why many scientists reject the concept of race as having any legitimate taxonomic value. It is near impossible to create a workable number of mutually exclusive, completely exhaustive categories in which to place humans.

    “In the United States both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species based on visible physical differences. With the vast expansion of scientific knowledge in this century, however, it has become clear that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups. Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic “racial” groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within “racial” groups than between them. In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions. Throughout history whenever different groups have come into contact, they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species.”


  • Sidnee

    If Willie Lynch were still alive, he could get his jollies off just reading the comments left weekly on this site. The only thing that surprises me is the fact that the article was at least in line with the comments that it is soliciting. The ongoing war of dark vs. light, purebred vs. biracial is so tedious. Lynch was correct in as much as it would be issues as this one which would forever hold back our race and keep us divided as a people. How one choooses to identify themself is a personal choice, like it or not. Is it so hard to move past that idea, and focus on what one can do personally to uplift, inspire, promote our beautiful culture?

    In my opinion it is far easier for most people to rant on and on (sometimes multiple times in one week) about issues in our community than it is to move forward with change. It is amazing to me that in these forums, so many readers have such knowledge of our rich history and culture. It is my sincerest hope that this knowledge is not just reserved for online magazine sites where one can show off just how smart they are. If you truly care about the state of black peoples (no matter their skin color or lineage), pass this wonderful knowledge on to our children. That way, the new generation has knowledge of their culture, and conversly, themsleves. That is how change happens. Picking apart all of the trees until you cant that you’re even in the forest is futile, and it gets us nowhere. Knowledge is power. Share some, and change can happen. Don’t just get on the comments section and gripe about who is really black and who really isn’t…Lynchism must die somewhere

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    Yes, Egyptians and North Africans are classified with Caucasians under the US federal ethnic categorizations.

    There was an article floating around a few months ago (maybe it was posted her on Clutch as well) about an Egyptian (I think) man who was protesting the fact that his government identify documents, etc., identifying him as Caucasian/white even though he identified as black and has a distinctly black phenotype.

  • Justanotheropinion

    Kam – looking back, I agree completely. At the time, I was 17 and scared to death that he would make good on his word to fail me for standing up to him. Honestly, I think everyone else was just shocked. Were that to happen to me today, totally different response!

  • anon

    The CIA wrote the Willie Lynch letter

  • Khabilah

    Did the CIA cause us to continue the cycle? Are the ramifications no less noticeable?…sigh. I think Sidnee was right. We’d rather complain and nitpick than attempt to make real change happen. Lets continue forward internet arguing over skin color and who is to blame for the break down in AA male/female relationships everyday. Why worry about change?

  • Meme

    No self identifying Black American need question the racial makeup of another black American, since we’re all pretty mixed and racially diversed. Let it go-we’re a people of many shades.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    Funny how u didn’t answer my question. Blacks like u won’t be satisfied til Paris Hilton is called black. Want to be put a white face on everything black. So sad!! Some of us actually care about the black race and want true blacks to actually represent it.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    What thetruth said!!! I’m 100% black and I CAN determine who I call black just like whites can determine who is called white. If you have a non black parent you are NOT black.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    Preach girl!!

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    Oh, so many typos/errors in that comment above.

  • http://gravatar.com/honeybfly1980 Isis

    The one drop rule is racist plain and simple. And your right biracials cling to being “black” cuz they know they can’t be “white”. They also know that in the black community because of colorism they are at the top of the food chain. Let whites start allowing them to be called white and you will see how fast ur biracial brethren deny blackness. Black people need to get a clue. But the only blacks that cling so hard to that one drop rule are the plantation minded ones who want to see real blackness disappear. ughh its disgusting

  • Wiseman

    Three main models of modern human evolution

    There are three main theories for the evolution of modern humans: the multiregional model, the recent African origin (RAO) model and the assimilation model (all reviewed in REF. 112).

    The multiregional model proposes that there was no single geographical origin for modern humans but that, after the radiation of HOMO ERECTUS from Africa into Europe and Asia ~800,000–1.8 million years before present (yr BP), there were independent transitions in regional populations from H. erectus to Homo sapiens.This model is supported primarily by the continuity of certain morphological traits in the fossil record (for example, the robust cheekbones observed in H. erectus fossils from Southeast Asia and in modern Australian aborigines),which indicate that modern populations evolved over very long periods of time in the regions where they are found today. Simultaneous evolution from H. erectus to H. sapiens in dispersed populations could have been achieved through extensive gene flow between populations, requiring a large EFFECTIVE POPULATION SIZE to sustain gene flow among geographically diverse populations.

    The RAO model proposes that all non-African populations descend from a H. sapiens ancestor that evolved in Africa 100,000 200,000 yr BP. This ancestor then spread throughout the world, replacing archaic Homo populations (for example, the
    Neanderthals). This model is supported by the fossil record, as the earliest modern human fossils were found in Africa and the Middle East, dating to 90,000–120,000 yr BP (REFS 60,112). The RAO model predicts that all genetic lineages derive from a recent
    common African ancestor and that non-African populations should carry a subset of the
    genetic variation present in modern African populations.

    The assimilation (or hybridization) model proposes that gene flow between the early human populations was not equal over time and space. This model allows for some gene flow between modern humans that migrated from Africa and archaic populations (for example, the Neanderthals) outside Africa. So, the evolution of modern humans could have been due to a blending of modern characters derived from African populations with local characteristics in archaic Eurasian populations. This model predicts that the modern gene pool derives from variable contributions of genes from archaic African and non-African populations.

  • Jointarms

    At: shawty the sweetie. I am tired of your BS. You seem not to get the critical analysis people are posting here. Let me try to clarify.

    1. The German colonial empire (German: Deutsches Kolonialreich) was an overseas domain formed in the late 19th century as part of the German Empire. Short-lived colonial efforts by individual German states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Imperial Germany’s colonial efforts began in 1884. Although most of Germany’s African and Pacific colonies were occupied by the Empire’s enemies in the first weeks of World War I, the German colonial empire officially ended with the effective date of the Treaty of Versailles on 10 January 1920 after its defeat in the war.

    2. During Herero Genocide Eugen Fischer, a German scientist, came to the concentration camps to conduct medical experiments on race, using children of Herero people and mulatto children of Herero women and German men as test subjects.Mahmood Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2001, p. 12 Together with Theodor Mollison he also experimented upon Herero prisoners[45] Those experiments included sterilization, injection of smallpox, typhus as well as tuberculosis.[46] The numerous cases of mixed offspring upset the German colonial administration and the obsession with racial purity.[46] Eugen Fischer studied 310 mixed-race children, calling them “Rehoboth bastards” of “lesser racial quality”.[46] Fischer also subjected them to numerous racial tests such as head and body measurements, eye and hair examinations. In conclusion of his studies he advocated genocide of alleged “inferior races” stating that “whoever thinks thoroughly the notion of race, can not arrive at a different conclusion”.[46] Fischer’s (at the time considered) scientific actions and torment of the children were part of wider history of abusing Africans for experiments, and echoed earlier actions by German anthropologists who stole skeletons and bodies from African graveyards and took them to Europe for research or sale.[46] An estimated 3000 skulls were sent to Germany for experimentation. In October 2011, after 3 years of talks, the first skulls were due to be returned to Namibia for burial.[47] Other experiments were made by doctor Bofinger, who injected Herero that were suffering from scurvy with various substances including arsenic and opium, afterwards he researched the effects of these substances by performing autopsies on dead bodies[48].

    Please understand, you began as an experiment and we are not jealous of you. We Dark skin Blacks of African decent have suffered unspeakable attrocities under the White man and your existence is an extension of that. So sorry if we are not beaming with love at the sight of you. You are bi-racial not Black.

  • Jointarms

    You are a fxxxing retard for asking that question. It would be like me asking the survivors of the Jewish Holocaust, what is Jew in America? Can you believe the absurdity in that question? Get a clue or fxxx off.

  • Jointarms

    Since we are all preaching to the choir, shall I posit some personal facts.

    1. My loving parents (Black Father and Black Mother) understood the idea to enter me into summer academic programs in high school. Year after year, I made the National Honor Society, I was awarded third place a City Wide Science fair, I made the WEB Dubois Honor Society, I was entered into a Magnet program for the academically gifted and I even got elected as the captain of the track team. So what is my issue? In my high school junior year, my parents had the great idea for me to be a Boy Scout. So I applied to work as a First Aider at a Boys Scouts Camp in Goshen, West VA. Every week, we received over three hundred Boys Scouts. As the only First Aider in the camp, I had to hand record every Scout’s medical information and administer medication as stated in their medical chart. I did that for eight and a half weeks. At the end of my employment, my camp director, (and I shall never forget his name for the rest of my living existence) Kent Doanne, asked if I could stay an extra week to help dismantle the camp for an extra $300 (mind you I was paid a measly $800 for eight and a half weeks). At the end of the week, I approached Mr. Doanne for my $300 and you will not believe what he said. “You stupid nigger will not get a dime from me.” “You son of a bitch.” I was petrified, NEVER in my life up till then did I experience such vicious attack. Now I knew I was no longer a teenager, I became a dark skin Black Man in America.

    2. Fast forward to my senior year in high school. I was driving my parents SAAB home one night after a long shift at work. After working ten hours at Burger King and you know I did not have the nice cashier job. I was the one changing the hot grease and washing all the heavy metal pots and pans. I was so exhausted physically and mentally. It was around midnight when I clocked out. I had not been driving for no longer than fifteen minutes when two Caucasian police officers pulled me over in a not so well lit part of the community. I was scared because I saw him follow me as soon as I made a legal right turn after stopping at a red light. He continued to follow me for about five minutes then he turned the emergency police sirens. I immediately pulled over. He asked me whose car was I driving, I said my Dad’s. He said, let me see your license and registration, I presented them while his partner shined his Maglite to the back seat area of the vehicle as if he was searching for something. I was still clueless since I hand never had trouble with the law. Then both walked back to their patrol vehicle and returned with my drivers license and registration and a moving violation ticket of $150. I was done. I knew my mother would be furious and my father would be disappointed. The reason the officer gave was; “failure to yield to an incoming vehicle.” Are you SERIOUS!

    3. Again in my senior year, my parents wised-up. They gave me their Ford Tempo since that may not get me negative attention from the police. Not so, I was pulled over, asked to kneel on the street (I mean on the road behind my parents Tempo while incoming cars were coming) and they were people staring and cars driving past while the Caucasian police officer shouted out commands like, “what do you have in your trunk.” I told him to go ahead and look and he did. Nothing, I was let go but my hands would not stop shaking. I grew up FAST.

    So when you bi-racial get to sit on CNN and be anchors or get the comfy jobs while us dark skin Blacks of African descent get skipped over, don’t act like, why are these people always peeved. Or our cause is not worth any attention. I mean, the LGBT got theirs, the Latinos got theirs, White women got Lily Ledbeter, and WHAT the fxxx did we get. We hear from bi-racial’s about some dumb ish like, “Who is Black in America.” Come again.

  • Susana

    There’s an issue with her declaring black, since North Africans and Egyptians (and all other Arabs) are considered white on census forms. She may have not wanted to get in trouble when applying to schools or maybe her adviser told her to check white to be on the safe side.
    It would have benefited her a lot more in scholarships and aid if she had declared black. Maybe she will find some Egyptian scholarships floating around.

  • Geri

    That’s a bunch of pseudo genetic non sense talk here. He does not have the same lineage of many blacks in the US. He’s half Kenyan which is around Eastern Africa. Black people in the Americas have ancestral lineage from West African not East Africa.

  • Really??!!

    I am so sick of these shows. Just so white people can dissect us even more? Can we get a White in America CNN special?

  • Wiseman


    Stereotypes of the Brazilian mulatto and negro: The sexual connotation of the black Brazilian
    by José Nunez

    The centuries-old stereotypes to which blacks are connected and enrooted should not be a source of pride for anyone, these are the characterizations to which the negro has been stigmatized throughout history that have the power to keep him in the same condition of any black slave. There are many stigmas, but the most troublesome are those related to sexuality and sex, this sexual look on the black man and black woman is a prison of our colonial history and slavery in Brazil, from a time when black women were sexual objects of plantation masters and their children, and black men were desired by white women because of their physical vigor and their lack of civility and morality, in the white and Christian manner, which allowed them sexual practices and performances that for the white, Christian man was taboo.

    Sexual intercourse with a slave, was certainly much more pleasurable for the slave owner than the intercourse with his wife, this is easy to explain knowing the human sexual depravity, the power relations involved in it and the distance between sex, morals and feelings. The mulata woman that gyrates her hips and the black man with the abnormal sexual black member should not provoke pride in anyone, these characterizations and the words of a sexual nature is a machine to degrade black men and women and reduce them to sex objects in the social imagination, leaving them where they were placed in slavery between the excluded and the inferior. Unfortunately, Brazilian Carnival is the most powerful machine that exists to reduce mulata women to their gyrating hips and the sexual connotation of her color.

    With a certain informality, I mean a movie, a comedy, where the character asks her husband to “do me like a negão”, this scene seems harmless, but it is more than enough to demonstrate the sexual connotation, fun and the function of sexual object in which the negro and the word “negão (big, black man)” are overloaded.

    Any reference to black is always associated with religious, culture-laden prejudices, work devalued and brutal work of all kinds, violence of every kind, crimes and exclusions of every kind, when there is some reference that apparently is valued, this enhancement is accompanied by stigmas, stereotypes that holds blacks to an incapacity and a grotesque caricature of disability of their behavior, culture and history.

    To have certainty that this sexual connotation of which the black is victim is in fact a machine of exclusion it is enough to note that the power, the portion of society that has all of its rights guaranteed and the elite, are dominated by individuals to whom are not are attributed not one sexual connotation or stereotype. The power, the rights and the elite are for people who own the superior knowledge, the intelligentsia and the sciences that build society in any part of the world. Black culture is reduced to cultural collaboration, allowed by those in power, entertainment and fun and profit of those in power, cultural heritage, manipulated and used to consumerist and capitalist taste, ie, uncharacterized product in the hands of power.

    I would not vote for a black man for president of the republic only because he has a huge sexual member, I would not vote for a mulata woman with her gyrating hips, but I would vote for a black man and a wonderfully intellectualized couple like the Obamas, who make us proud.

    Why not value our great poet Cruz e Souza (1), Machado de Assis (2), Lima Barreto (3), etc? Why not value the intelligentsia of Martin Luther King or Mandela’s wisdom.

    The appreciation of physical beauty in blacks is a reflection of the prejudices suffered by them and it is also a reflection of the sexual connotation of which blacks are victims since slavery, this behavior and this self-affirmation is the result of an inferior look upon themselves as if this was the only way for blacks to be valued by society, even if this sexual appreciation keeps them excluded and without civility. As if that weren’t enough, now there is an appreciation of elements that are a result of our exclusion, as is the case of the slums and of the customs resulting from our lack of knowledge and social chaos.

    The preservation of culture can also be the preservation of our exclusion and misery, conservation cynically permitted by the power that represses.

    1. 19th century Afro-Brazilian poet

    2. 19th/20th century Afro-Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright and short story writer, widely regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature.

    3. 19th/20th century Afro-Brazilian novelist and journalist

    Source: Artigos Imparcialistas, Bolsa de Mulher

    Related articles

    The “negão” and the fetishization of interracial sex in Brazil

    Why do black Brazilian men prefer blondes? Part 3 – “They are more beautiful, more seductive, more cultured”, says one

    Why is the black woman seen as a sex object?

    The Brazilian mulata: black woman or something entirely different?

    Devassa Beer ordered to change its racist ad depicting black women’s sexuality

    Sexuality, racial imagery and the fetishization of the black male body in Brazil, Part 1

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Um…yikes, I read this entire post backwards and forwards and I can’t help but think of what Paul Mooney said best… “Everybody wants to be black, BUT NOBODY REALLY WANTS TO BE BLACK.” Everybody wants to say they are black or have black heritage but once it is time to show your recipes and be proud of it then the talks get quieter than a church mouse. I was over this series since the first installment this isn’t for us but non-blacks to dissect us. I would never tell someone how they should self-identified themselves or how they should be measured on the “blackness barograph” but all these splitting hairs makes you think what is the motive behind all of this and why all of a sudden is there a shift of control and “define” blackness…things that make you go hmmm

  • Jointarms

    @ shawty the sweetie
    December 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Again, you’ve failed to see the concurrence. This is not hate. It is a proximate cause. But if not for the inter-racial children experiment orchestrated by the German Empire in sub Saharan Africa to put in place a master race over the indigenous African phenotype, there would not be bi-racial children. Again, you are not Black. You are bi-racial. It would be too simplistic for me to address this issue as hate. I don’t hate you because I don’t know you. Although, I am objectively seeking to explain you continue to ignore the fact that there is a nebulous and insidious mind control agenda by the U.S. media to hijack the Black face from people who claim origins from sub saharan African phenotype. These individuals tend to have two dark skin parents. Yhe fact of the matter that you choose to omit that critical fact is very evident in your calous responses and simplistic bogus analogy. Thank you.

  • http://beautifulmindtss.wordpress.com beautifulmind

    YES YES YES! Took the words right out of my mouth!

  • Jointarms

    @ Isis. The bi-racial Egyptian woman, a college applicant, featured in the CNN Black in America series self-identified as “Black.” Later in the series, it was time for her to fill out her college application and she filled in “White non-Hispanic, Caucasian (western European heritage) or North African.” Case in point, she immediately withdrew her self-identification in print or shall I say college application wholeheartedly. Bi-racial is bi-racial; however solidarity is always welcomed and we shall respond in kind.

    Please see below for comprehensive definition of the word black and usage taken from the Pocket Oxford American Dictionary Second Edition:

    Black / blak/ adj. 1. Of the very darkest in color.

    2 (of coffee or tea) served without milk.

    3 relating to the human group having dark-colored skin.

    4. marked by tragedy, disaster, or despair: the blackest day of the war.

    5. (of humor) presenting tragic or distressing situations in comic terms.

    6. full of anger or hatred: he threw me a black look. n. 1 black color. 2. A member of a dark-skinned people. v. make something black, especially by applying black polish or makeup


    BLACK, designating Americans of African heritage, became the most widely used and accepted term in the 1960s and 1970s, replacing Negro. It is not usually capitalized: black Americans. Through the 1980s, the more formal African American replaced black in much usage, but both are now generally acceptable.


    Black codes. (usu. cap.) Hist. 1. Antebellum state laws enacted to regulate slavery. 2. Laws enacted shortly after the Civil War in the ex-Confederate states to restrict the liberties of the newly freed slaves to ensure a supply of inexpensive agricultural labor and to maintain white supremacy.

  • Ms. Vee

    This topic is tired, old and flat out BS at this point.

    Why is there no effort to place whiteness or “Asian-ness” through a microscope? Being black is the same thing that makes you white, asian etc….having BOTH parents of the same race. Simple. Just plain and simple. Granted, one does not need to be 100% black to be black. If you look like Wesley Snipes and are 1/20 white, then that tiny fraction of white is irrelevant for the most part. However being 50% black or less doesn’t cut it. Biracial people are just that…biracial. Lets move on now and focus on the real issues plaguing the black community.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Why is ‘whiteness’, readily, placed as the face for blackness? It certainly isn’t the other way around.

    There would be no show “Who is Black in America?” hosted by someone who looks like James Brown.

  • kj1986nyc

    I agree with you the jest of what you’re saying. “black” is not a nation. Tell me someone what “black” nation-state exists in this world? The closest I discovered was Somalia, lol. These pie in the sky negroes what to create so supranational black identity and it’s foolish, tiresome and unresourcesful. why play these games who is black? I don’t even know what it means to be black or who my people really are. It’s so mixed up and confusing. “black” to me, is just a racist, marxist, sociopolitical concept for solidarity of society’s rejects.

  • kj1986nyc

    Other races don’t want them yet to come to black people. the reject race to take representation from us. The mixed people would get no representation on their own

  • JJDD

    You guys have to see what this is really all for. You’ve little Miss Soledad O’brien, the light-skinned, middle-class, born person of color. She wants here peers, the world, to say that she is authentically black and that she had a completely authentic black experience. Soledad, it’s okay, whatever brought you to this point in your life, that’s your path. No one can judge you unless you let them. Yes it’s hard to break from the residue of traumatic childhood experiences but come on. You are a person, and yes you have some heritage, and yes you look how you look. But only a small and shrinking minority of idiots and media jokers like yourself care that much about race. It’s all about class, under that there are plenty of sub-cultural identifiers that we all use. Blah, blah, blah, just get some corn rows and then maybe you can sell it. But quit wasting valuable airtime on this crap. Shake it off.

  • rational

    its not necessary because white people arent so overly concerned with their own race

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